WIT's Forestry degree partnered with Waterford and South Tipperary Community Youth Service and Waterford Comhairle na nÓg Youth Council on the initiative
People visiting the Waterford Greenway from the Greenway car park at Waterford Institute of Technology’s (WIT) West Campus at Carriganore, Waterford will be able to learn more about Irish native woodland thanks to the work of thirty teenagers.
Over three days 1,500 trees were planted as part of the Native Irish Tree Trail at WIT’s West Campus adjacent to the Waterford Greenway by 30 young people in six separate groups under the supervision of WIT Forestry staff and students.
WIT partnered with Waterford and South Tipperary Community Youth Service (wstcys.ie) and Waterford Comhairle na nÓg Youth Council on the initiative which will be there for future generations to enjoy – and to learn more about native trees through interpretative material.
Time to care for planet
Seoda Ní Raghallaigh, Chairperson of Waterford Comhairle Na nÓg, explains that the idea arose as young people at Waterford Comhairle Na nÓg believe that no one is too young to make a difference to their community.
“Over the many years we have worked on various topics that surround the lives of young people in the local area and have come together to see how we can improve things. With this year's topic being helping the environment, we in Waterford Comhairle Na nÓg feel that it is vital to take care of our planet regardless of how young you are. By getting teenager’s opinions on how to better help the environment, our members brainstormed many efficient ways to positively improve our community and make it a greener area.”
Tom Kent, course leader on WIT’s three-year BSc in Forestry was delighted to respond to this youth aware of the importance of native trees and forests and this tree trail represents the first action of a longer term partnership between WIT, WSTCYS and Waterford Comhairle na nÓ.
Since 1997 WIT has been preparing foresters for a professional career in forest management with the BSc in Forestry. WIT also offers the add-on course BSc (Hons) in Land Management in Forestry which combines the invaluable expertise of both the School of Science and School of Business.
“The Tree Trail will be a destination for people and school groups that want to learn more about Irish trees. The tree trail consists of 26 species of native Irish woody plants, including the well-known such as oak, birch and willow, and the lesser-known such as the purging buckthorn and strawberry tree.”
“The long-term objective is to have a number of mature specimen trees of each species. The site has a large number of pedestrians and cyclists moving between the Greenway car park and the WIT Arena, and has ample parking for school and community visitors, so it has potential for high engagement with interpretive material to aid understand of the role of trees and forests in maintaining our climate and biodiversity.
Declan O’Driscoll explains how WSTCYS works with young people from all across Waterford City and County, as well as parts of South Tipperary, and those young people wanted to do something practical for their environment. He quoted one participant who said that ‘working in partnership with WIT was a great experience, and we learned all about forestry and the hugely positive impact of trees on our planet, but also on ourselves and on our quality of life’. WSTCYS is looking forward to seeing the positive impact of our current environmental work on generations of young people in the future.
Seoda highlights that planting trees in Carriganore was only one part of Waterford Comhairle Na nÓg’s environmental action plan. In addition, Comhairle is developing a mobile application centred around getting individuals to contribute at least one climate friendly task a day to their locality. The app “Communitree” will be available for all to download from iOS and Android in the coming weeks. ‘We hope our native Irish tree trail will serve as an educational outlet for all age groups for years to come and over time become a fundamental part of our community and county.’
- Bachelor of Science in Forestry
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Land Management in Forestry
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Agricultural Science
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Land Management in Agriculture
- Bachelor of Science in Agriculture
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Land Management in Horticulture
- Bachelor of Science in Horticulture (Kildalton College)
- Bachelor of Science in Horticulture (National Botanic Gardens)